On October 23, Bellator MMA will host a grand MMA extravaganza when MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko competes in his home country of Russia. For weeks, there has been speculation of who will be his opponent, with people coming out of the woodwork to volunteer their services: familiar foes, fellow legends, and even ex-pro wrestlers! Ultimately, Bellator MMA went with the conservative choice and selected #2-ranked former title challenger Timothy Johnson per CBS Sports.
Timothy Johnson is also a veteran of the game, having been competing for over a decade in the sport. Nevertheless, the Minnesotan has far less fight experience than Emelianenko brings to the table, as the Russian has much more wins (39) than Johnson has fights (22).
Still, this will be a high-level opponent for Emelianenko that is far from a gimme fight. In his most recent outing, Emelianenko defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson via TKO at Bellator 237. This was two years ago, however, so we’ll see if ring rust will play a factor for the 44-year-old if Father Time doesn’t.
Timothy Johnson has a record of 15-7, and the former UFC veteran most recently vied for Bellator’s interim heavyweight championship against Valentin Moldavsky but came up short in a unanimous decision loss at Bellator 261.
Speaking to CBS Sports, Johnson opened up about just how highly he regards his opponent.
“The name power doesn’t matter where you are at — everyone knows Fedor,” Johnson said. “Even the most crude fight fan who started watching the sport weeks ago knows who Fedor is.
“He is the G.O.A.T. He has still got knockout power and that doesn’t go away. Father Time catches up to all of us but the one thing that will delay Father Time is your knockout power. Fedor is probably the best to do it.”
We’ll keep you updated on any further updates on Bellator Moscow as it becomes available.
What do you think of Bellator’s selection for Fedor’s opponent for Bellator Moscow? Did Bellator get it right?